This is the second in a series of three reviews about appendix carry. Today I’m focusing on the:
Old Faithful Belly Tuck Holster
One of the guns in my safe I knew I wanted to try to appendix carry was my Sig Sauer P220 Compact SAS GenII. It’s a beautiful gun and, while difficult to conceal for a “compact” gun due to size and weight, shoots beautifully. It’s a tack driver. Another reason I wanted to try to conceal was because it was DA-SA, a nuance I’ll be covering in my forthcoming Appendix Carry Roundup.
The problem I found immediately was that very few – I mean very few – holster manufacturers make anything for this Sig. Apparently, this is a small-market version of another P220 Compact that had a rail on the dustcover. The one does not. Even less manufacturers make one for AIWB carry. I found one over several weeks of researching: Old Faithful.
Old Faithful is a hybrid holster; the back, body facing side is leather and the “scabbard” on the front is kydex. I’m quite partial to this style holster, as I’ve reviewed before.
Even cooler, Old Faithful has several options as to how much assembly they do before they ship – everything from a blank leather and unmolded Kydex (the “UMold-It Kit”) to a fully-assembled holster. Deciding I could save a few bucks and, having seen several other variations of the hybrid holster, figuring it would be an easy assembly, I went with the “Quick-Assemble-Kit” which was about half the price of a fully-assembled. The Quick-Assemble-Kit comes with precut and drilled leather, molded, drilled and deburred kydex, and all the necessary hardware required. All parts ready to assemble. $39.97 out the door for a hybrid holster ain’t bad. Plus the “most comfortable holster ever” guarantee makes it seem to good to be true.
While I was waiting the promised 4-6 week delivery time, I watched a few assembly videos on the website and youtube. Didn’t look like too big a deal! As someone who was raised by a mechanic, does various light gunsmithing, builds AR-15’s, etc. I thought I’d have no problem.
The holster, well, the holster parts, arrived about 8 weeks after I clicked submit. (Side note: I sent two emails to the company and left a voicemail (then their voicemail box filled up), and never heard a peep back. Nothing.)
Upon opening the package and doing a quick inventory, I started assembly. There are t-nuts, and screws of varying lengths with matching “bushings” so you can set you own retention. I put bushings in quotes because it’s really just small rubber radiator hose cut into varying lengths.
The process goes like this:
- Hammer a t-nut into the leather from the back until the spikes on the t-nut dig into the leather
- Assemble the metallic spring-clip belt loops using matched length bushing and screw and some sort of “washer” to make the screw fit flush.
- Follow the procedure with the scabbard.
In total, there are 8 screws you have to install. Easy, right?
bushing cut radiator hose was just long enough to make getting the screw started very difficult. When you switched to a shorter bushing piece of cut radiator hose, the screw simply bottomed out. In order to do it, you really need four hands: two to hold the t-nut, leather, bushing cut radiator hose in place and two to line up the clip or scabbard and screw and apply enough downward pressure to get the screw threads to bite.
What should have taken 20 minutes took the better part of two hours until I developed a system that seemed to work. Really, piss poor.
When I was finished, and inserted the (unloaded) P220 in there was no “retention click,” rather, the back leather piece just kind of “bowed” out. It’s a VERY thin leather pad, easily 33% thicker than the Crossbreed and a full 50% thicker than the White’s.
When I wore the holster the first time I noticed something else right away: the grip of the gun is free to slide backwards and forwards. If it slides forward, it prints fairly significantly.
It’s also a real monster to carry. Easily the least comfortable of the three I’m reviewing but I’ll grant that the Sig P220 Compact is also the least “compact” of the group with a 4″ barrel. That said, I have to really nail Old Faithful on the design. The Kydex scabbard extends about 3/4″ below the bottom edge of the leather pad and, when holstered, the muzzle of the gun. This extra 3/4″ is what digs into your femoral and/or private area. Driving with this holster isn’t fun at all. Hell, putting shoes on is nightmarish.
After Six Weeks…
Still uncomfortable but I’ve found positions where it’s less uncomfortable.
I suppose I could adjust the ride height and raise the whole thing up about an inch but I’d be compromising concealment at that point. I supposed I could mark the Kydex and cut it off where it should be. Perhaps I will and, if I do, I’ll post an update. Even still it’s work that the customer shouldn’t have to do. I’ve thought about taking advantage of their “Most comfortable holster guarantee” but, after my experience trying to get a status on my order, I have little hope that’ll result in any satisfaction.
Even still, because the P220 Compact is such a great self defense platform, I find I carry this a fair amount. In my humble opinion, Sig gets the credit for that, not Old Faithful.
One last thing I noticed, and perhaps its too nit-picky is that the lipstick-red logo on the leather rubs off on the gun. Bad. Granted, a little elbow grease with a soft cloth and it comes right off, but still… Seriously? You couldn’t just use a heated brand or emboss the logo like everyone else? Or, better yet, not bother with a logo? It’s not a big deal but it’s just one more thing Old Faithful seemed to overlook.
Would I recommend this holster to a friend? No, I would not. There are just too many manufacturers out there making quality leather and kydex that this just seems like a combination of the worst ideas and products. That said, if a) price is an issue or b) you’re trying to find an AIWB for an uncommon gun and Old Faithful makes it, it’s probably better than just keeping the gun stuffed down the font of your pants, gangsta-style. Or maybe not. $39.97 is a box of ammo. Your call.
Cost: $27.97-75.00 depending on level of assembly, 39.97 as reviewed.
Time to deliver: Varies (website said 4-6 weeks, took 8)
Customer service: Don’t return emails or calls. Voicemail full. They do offer a money back guarantee which is easy to do when customers can’t get ahold of you to file for one.